I considered last year’s Arrow portion of the “Invasion!” crossover event to be a series classic, simultaneously drawing upon the foundational elements of the Green Arrow, while also moving the broader Invasion storyline forward. This year’s “Crisis on Earth X, Part 2” doesn’t quite have this same feel, but that’s largely due, I think, to the tone that Supergirl’s “Crisis on Earth X, Part 1” establishes. This year’s crossover event invites you into the broad DC world from minute one and makes it clear that this is going to be one big giant ensemble story.
Let’s begin talking quickly about Part 1, which begins on a pretty hopeful note with Barry and Iris set to be married. Our other superheroes and their friends — Kara, Oliver, etc — make their way to Central City for the proceedings.
There are some quick emotional beats. For instance, Alex, still reeling over her split with Maggie, awkwardly hooks up with the always confident Sara. With the wedding theme, meanwhile, it’s only fitting that Ollie starts pondering whether he should make it official again with Felicity. Only last time the two got married, the duo was attacked and Felicity lost her ability to walk for a time. Ollie confides in Barry, who tells Oliver that having someone by your side is a strength not a weakness when fighting to save the world.
Well, a bunch of Nazis are about to put Barry’s conviction to the test. Yep, a gang of Nazis from a 53rd Earth, “Earth X,” crash Barry’s wedding, led by an evil Arrow, Dark Arrow, and an evil Supergirl, dubbed Overgirl. Each superhero goes head to head with their Nazi Doppelgänger and force the baddies to retreat and regroup. Part 1 ends with the neat reveal that indeed our heroes are, in a way, fighting themselves.
Unfortunately, from a reveal standpoint, the most exciting moments of “Crisis on Earth X, Part 2,” happen in the opening moments. Our heroes were able to capture and detain one masked Nazi and are shocked when one Tommy Merlyn is behind the mask. Oliver clears out the room and has a heart to heart with the — well let’s say apparition — of his best friend. At first it appears that Oliver gets through to this version of Tommy, but soon Tommy cackles at Oliver’s “weakness” (a common refrain in this crossover event) and commits suicide.
Later, our heroes try to stop their Doppelgängers from stealing an orb and Green Arrow shoots a kryptonite infused arrow into Overgirl. That earns a look from Supergirl, naturally. Overgirl uses her heat vision to destabilize a nearby construction site, forcing Barry, Kara, and Ollie to attend to that.
As the episode progresses, we finally find out the endgame of these dastardly Nazis. Well, maybe there are two goals. One is the world domination thing that seemed clear from the outset. But we also find that Overgirl is dying (she apparently flew too close to the sun) and needs Supergirl’s heart to survive. Obviously, Kara isn’t just going to willingly hand that over, but our Nazi Doppelgängers capture Barry, Ollie, and the rest of the good guys, forcing Kara’s hand.
One of the more puzzling things about the Arrow portion of the crossover event is how little other Arrow characters, Curtis, Rene, etc, are used. (Heck, I think we only see Rene when he’s being thrown into a Nazi corridor. ) It felt like last year’s “Invasion!” really emphasized each show’s characters when their turn was up, almost like carrying a baton in a relay race. It also felt that each crossover event had action that was unique to its show.
The episode ends with a pretty shocking moment. Ollie and the rest now find themselves on Earth X in a detention camp. Supergirl, meanwhile, will have to find a way to rescue her friends without submitting to the demands of Dark Arrow and Overgirl. Stay tuned for Part 3!
Season 6, Episode 8 (S06E08)
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9PM on CW
Ade Adeniji | Contributor